Even though the story of 200 pounds beauty successfully attracts the audience with comedy and a great soundtrack, through the portrayal of the character Han-na’s decisions and achievements, the message of this movie, 200 Pounds Beauty, perfect beauty is the key to happiness, is a shallow theme.
Kang Han-na is a nice woman who has an incredible voice, however; the fact that she weighs 200 pounds hinders her dreams of being a famous singer. Due to her appearance, Han-na provides her vocals for a pop star Amy who is attractive and skinny but cannot sing, and stays behind the scenes. After facing humiliation by her co-workers because of her weight at the company party, she decides to have plastic surgery. It takes a year of recovery, but she eventually becomes the beautiful women that she has been dreamt about and starts a new life as “Jenny”. However, she hides her real name and her past to become a singer and auditions from the same studio that she worked at when she provided her vocals in the past. She becomes a famous singer but she decides to reveal who she was in the past.
Living a new life that she has dreamt of, and finally accrediting as a beautiful talented woman may have touched the audience with funny jokes and light-heartedness. However, the question remains; is she being respected by the audience based on her talent or appearance? After her plastic surgery, she is treated as a princess from every guy. She is above the law, getting away with hitting a car because of her looks. Personally, I’m curious as to what the goal of the filmmaker was; are they trying to prove that getting plastic surgery is the way of improving one’s life? Or are they trying to tell the audience to love yourself just the way you are? What I see is that her life might have been successfully revived as a beautiful talented woman, yet she still seems confused of her identity and not completely confident in her sense of self after the surgery.
This movie also successfully addresses Korea’s beauty-infatuated society. Every Korean girl wishes to have big eyes and a perfectly slim body. However what I am concerned about is the reaction of the audience to the message. The audience members who watched this movie and decided to get cosmetic surgery might have chosen to under an illusion that they will become just as perfectly as Han-nah turned out. In addition, the dangerous part of getting plastic surgery or any side effects of these types of procedures were not viewed in the film.
Though, the audience thinks that this movie is funny and has a succesful plot, the theme behind this movie seems too shallow.
200 Pounds Beauty – 2006 Korean Movie Trailer YouTube
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